TORONTO -- Frank Mir
would have us believe that he was never really out of it after getting rocked by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
in the first round of their heavyweight tilt at UFC 140
. Instead, he was merely "wobbled," he said. He'd also have us believe that was bound to get out of danger whether Nogueira had stopped hitting him and gone for a choke or not, even if UFC president Dana White was among those who simply wasn't buying either claim.
It almost makes you wonder how seriously to take Mir's other major statement on the night, this one regarding rumors that Alistair Overeem
might have to withdraw from his UFC 141
fight with Brock Lesnar
on December 30.
"If the rumors that you're hearing are true, I wouldn't mind having to step in for Overeem and taking on Brock," said Mir. "I'm pretty healthy and three weeks isn't bad turnaround."
And why not? He may have come within one or two punches of being knocked completely out by Nogueira in a back-and-forth one-rounder, but Mir talked like a man who had hardly suffered any damage at all before getting the submission win in a wild affair.
As he explained: "I only fought a three-minute fight, so I'm feeling pretty good. My wife might not be happy about Christmas but, eh, she can deal with it."
As for Nogueira, his holiday season is looking especially grim. White, who denied the Overeem withdrawal rumors, revealed after the press conference that he was planning to fly Nogueira back to Las Vegas with him on Sunday morning so he could have surgery on his injured right arm as soon as possible. He also said that he knew Nogueira was headed for trouble when Mir locked up the kimura, and nothing about the Brazilian's history or posture suggested that he was ready to tap.
"Nogueira's a jiu-jitsu black belt, probably the best submissions heavyweight of all time, you know when you get caught in that thing to tap," White said. "You know to tap out to that. It's what happens if you don't."
Mir said he knew what the likely outcome would be when he secured the kimura, and the only thing left to do was to go ahead and finish it.
"I had a strong inclination that he was not going to tap, so I took a deep breath and you guys saw what happened," he said.
The injury drew pained groans from the crowd at the Air Canada Centre when it was replayed several times on the big screen. It's the latest in a serious of injuries that have piled up on Nogueira of late, and though he hasn't taken the knockouts that some of his contemporaries have, he might still have to sit down for a serious talk with the boss, White said.
"You've got to look at a guy's entire career, not just how it's ending. Big Nog's been in wars, man. I was at the Pride fight when he fought Mirko 'Cro Cop' [Filipovic], and 'Cro Cop' was just blasting him with kicks to the body and shots to the head, and then he ends up pulling off that submission win in the second round. He's had a career where he's been through wars.
"Big Nog is a nice guy and a guy who I respect, and I know they get pissed off at me when I say this stuff, but again, it doesn't matter. Unfortunately -- or fortunately -- I'm the one that makes these decisions. I'm going to have to sit down and talk to him. I don't want to see him get hurt, or anyone else."